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MIDWEST COMPUTER GENEALOGISTS 


_NEWSLETTER_ 

www.mcqenealoqists.orq 

Volume XXIV_September, 2020_Number 9 


PRESERVING FAMILY HISTORY 

Marjorie Slavens 

Many of our articles through the years have been 
dedicated to the preservation of our family history. 
There are so many different ways we can both 
investigate and preserve and share the results of our 
research. In his “The President’s Comer” article this 
month, A1 Morse describes the research of his 
cousin, Laura Frances Seals Scott, in the days when 
we did not have the Internet, and we had to depend 
on trips to other parts of the country to visit libraries, 
court houses, genealogical societies, etc. and write 
many letters to gather the material we needed to trace 
our families. A1 indicates that he has been able to 
extend his cousin’s research through new contacts, 
and he has previously written about using DNA 
testing to make additional family contacts and 
discover supplementary information. 

Julia Morse describes ways in which we can use the 
Internet, including the use of Youtube, to find 
records and review the material posted there as a part 
of our research. She has also written articles about 
how to restore and preserve old pictures. Of course, 
we have wonderful websites like Ancestry.com, 
Family Search, Archives, FoldS, etc. where others 
share the results of their research and we can find 
some additional historical records. Julia has created 
our website, www.mcgenealogists.org, to preserve 
our newsletters online and provide a way that each of 
us can preserve and share our documents with others 
online. 

I have written articles about the books about our 
family that my mother, Mildred Welty Slavens, 
published and shared with other family members. I 
have also recorded or videoed interviews with family 
members, and we have had several MCG programs 


about ways in which we can preserve these 
interviews. 

This month, Priscilla Darling shared an article about 
preserving the memories of school reunions where 
contacts with people we knew many years ago can 
help us renew our contacts with these people through 
the years. 

Priscilla says, “My all-school reunion was cancelled 
this year also. We meet every 2 years at 
Harrisonville Community building. Our family 
reunion on my Mother's side was also cancelled this 
summer. We meet every two years. This writing 
brought back a lot of memories”. 

My high school class decided when we graduated to 
have class reunions every 5 years, and they have 
done so until Reunion 60.1 was only able to attend 
Reunions 30 and 60. Now, they are having annual 
reunions with preceding and following class years, 
which they have cancelled this year because of 
Covid-19. My Westmeier and Gillman ancestors 
used to have frequent family reunions, and my great 
uncle, Jesse F. Westmeier was inspired by these 
meetings to create books on both of his parents’ 
family lines. 

THE PRESIDENT’S CORNER 

A1 Morse 

My cousin, Laura Frances (Seals) Scott, did a lot of 
genealogical research on both sides of her mothers, 
her fathers, and her husbands families. I happen to be 
on her mother's side of the family. Her mother, Amy 
Henrietta (Janssens) Seals, and my mother, Mildred 
Catherine (Janssens) Morse, were sisters. Amy was 
bom May 30,1894 and my mother was born October 
21, 1910. Laura Frances was born November 26, 


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1921. She said that 1 was 4 years old when she 
married Kenneth Francis Scott and 1 was the ring 
bearer and 1 cried the whole time. 1 do not remember 
that at all. But her two sons seemed more like 
cousins to me and she seemed more like an aunt, 1 
did not need to call her Aunt Laura Frances, but it 
was her mother that 1 called Aunt Amy. 

Laura Francis was called by two names because her 
grandmother and mine was Laura Jessie (Mooney) 
Janssens. My wife Dorothy was called Dorothy Jean 
because her mother was Dorothy (McDaniel) 
Newcomb, with no middle name. In fact 1 grew up, 
in the Morse family, as Albert Jr. because 1 was 
named after my father. 1 do not know why, but 
Kenneth Scott was called Scotty. 

Laura Frances and Scotty, probably after their two 
sons graduated from high school, traveled to the east 
coast in search of genealogical records. They would 
go to libraries, court houses, genealogical centers, 
and cemeteries in search of records. She also was 
able to find and communicate with other ancestral 
relatives. 1 have several of those letters in her files 
that 1 was given by her. With the help of Ancestry 
and Family Search,! have found information that 
Laura Frances could not find. A contributor to these 
sites is a Tiffany Farnsworth Nash. 

One family line is the Farnsworth family. Our sixth 
great grandfather, Thomas Farnsworth, was bom 
Febmary 7, 1648 (or Febmary 5, 1647, according to 
different sources) in Mansfield, Nottingham, 
England. He married Susannah Smith on November 
10, 1672 in Skegby, England. Susannah was born 
June 17, 1649 in Yorkshire, England. They were 
Quakers. He had been arrested and jailed and she 
was a Quaker minister. He came to America in 1677 
on the Kent. They came to Philadelphia, but he 
continued up the Delaware River and got off on the 
New Jersey side in Burlington County. Susannah 
came to America in 1678 with their two children and 
two servants. They had five more children born in 
New Jersey. 

We are able to access records all over the world. 
Eaura Erances relied on traveling and writing letters. 
The amount of records she obtained was massive. 


However, her records were not always correct. She 
had Susannah with a last name of Ellis. But all 
records now show the last name as Smith. She was 
also unable to get the birthdates of Thomas and 
Susannah or their marriage record. But her records 
were recorded in the book Earnsworth Memorial 11. 
This was the second edition of Earnsworth Memorial 
published in 1897 by Moses Eranklin Earnsworth. 
The revised edition was in 1974 by R. Glen Nye. 

1 still have many of the records of Eaura Erances. 1 
have given some to the Cass County Genealogy 
Eibrary in the Cass County Eibrary in Harrisonville, 
Missouri. 1 plan to give more of these records to 
them. 

A GLOBAL PANDEMIC IS A GREAT TIME 
TO EXPAND YOUR SKILLSET 

Julia Morse 

Life during COVlD-19 times has pushed most of 
us to change-up how we do things in small and 
large ways. Developing new skills comes with the 
territory. We have installed aps for grocery pickup 
and delivery or used video conferencing for the 
first time just to see our loved ones or to attend 
church, work, or school. Eor some, being stuck 
socially-distanced at home has opened up free time 
to explore new activities, while for others, the push 
to carry on our work and community engagements 
in new ways has forced us to learn new 
technologies. 

As a university instructor adapting my instruction 
to a socially-distanced environment, 1 have been 
pushing my technical adoption to foster better 
online experiences for my students. Before 
COVlD-19, 1 had participated in Zoom 
videoconferences a few times, but now 1 had to 
learn how to set up and manage the online 
meetings myself As my experience progressed, 1 
explored expanded options for engaging the 
students, such as setting up “breakout rooms” for 
students to leave the main conference for small- 
group discussions, or finding new ways to use the 
“chaf’ feature to log student participation for 
attendance and scoring. 


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My teaching material development has also pushed 
my tech adoption. I teach technical drawing, 
which includes hand-sketching, so I needed to 
purchase and set up an overhead camera that I 
could use to demonstrate techniques during 
videoconference sessions or on video-recorded 
help sessions made from home. 

In truth, for over a decade, I had dreamed of 
putting much of my teaching into videos that my 
students could consult on an as-needed basis, but 
this had been a wish that had sat on my proverbial 
shelf collecting dust, waiting for the day it would 
take priority. In 2020, the priority is here, and I 
have finally been learning how to use the video¬ 
editing software. 

As computer genealogists, we continually expand 
our computer-related skillset. Much of this has to 
do with knowledge of resources and search 
techniques, but also the software and paper record¬ 
keeping methods we adopt to organize, preserve, 
and pass on the stories and data we discover. 
None of us are new to picking up new skills. 

I have been marveling at how easy it has become 
to learn new technology, mostly thanks to the 
plethora of quick-start demonstrations, tutorials, 
and software and product reviews available on 
Youtube. The same is becoming true for 
genealogy techniques. Is there an area of your 
genealogy journey that has gotten stuck? Someone 
has probably addressed it on a video. Just start 
typing in “genealogy” and some other key word 
into the Youtube search engine. 

Sometimes we know what we want to learn and 
can search directly. Other times we learn from 
others who introduce us to the possibilities. In my 
teaching, I hear other colleagues talking about 
something they are doing, or see them demonstrate 
it in a meeting. When I discover YouTube 
presenters teaching one thing I am interested in, I 
usually also explore their other content to see what 
else they are suggesting. For family research in 
particular, it is useful to watch for general topics 
and techniques others are finding useful. 


One thing that I have wanted to do to improve my 
family history collection was to learn improved 
techniques for digitally restoring the old historic 
photos. I have sparingly used free GIMP photo¬ 
editing software for work, and over many years 
developed my own methods for cleaning up 
historic family photos. However, my crude self- 
developed methods have been intensely time- 
consuming and produced results that were not as 
polished as desired. They also were extremely 
limited for large photo defects such as rips, tears, 
and stains. I have long known that the software 
was more powerful and that, if I took the time, I 
could more deeply learn the software and specific 
techniques. 

This past weekend, the time had come: My mother 
had a need for a historic photo repair to support a 
feature article she was writing for her local 
newspaper. The photo was key to her story about a 
local landmark building—the Windsor, Missouri 
Western Auto Building that is now slated for 
demolition. We had a beautiful 1940’s photograph 
of a community event that showed the building and 
its neighboring businesses—beautiful except for the 
fact that it had a huge rip down the center! 

I studied the videos on photo restoration 
techniques. It took a little time and some note¬ 
taking. As I executed the processes on the scan of 
our torn photo, I ended up going back to a couple 
of videos to double check how they were handling 
certain features, and even consulted another video 
for more detail when a supporting technique 
became problematic. 

Like many skills, photo editing is not learned in 
one day, but rather a little at a time. Sometimes 
you discover techniques and software features that 
are groundbreaking. Other times you are learning 
small steps to keep you improving along the way. 

Our computer genealogy journey is similar. We 
learn some groundbreaking techniques at times, 
but at other times, we move along with 
incremental discoveries and adjustments. 


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In this case, the new techniques I applied yielded 
an amazingly restored photograph. It is not 
professional perfect, but highly acceptable for the 
need. Windsor Historieal Society has a great image 
of the historical city scene, and I have a new skill 
added to my family history archiving repertoire. 

If you would like to see the before and after of the 
photo restoration, check it out on our 
MCGenealogists.org website. 

Whatever these unique times are bringing to your 
life, I encourage you to look for small 
opportunities to learn the small or large things that 
keep you moving on your family history goals. 


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DRAWING STRENGTH FROM 
OUR ANCESTORS’ RESILIENCE 


Link here for the recommended artic 
https:/^logs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2020/09/24/ 
drawing-strength-from-our-ancestors-resilience- 
from-the-spanish-flu-to-today/ 


e 


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OFFICERS 

A1 Morse, President 

Byron Gilbreath, Treasurer 

Marjorie Slavens , Newsletter Editor 

Julia Morse, Website Administrator, Digital 

Librarian 


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